“I loved getting the opportunity to work with the Bonacci Girls Leadership organization this year,” said Natalie Davis ’17. “Our leadership experience culminated with us meeting a wide array of female Hun alumnae and networking with them. It was initially intimidating to be surrounded by so many successful women, but they were incredibly down to earth and provided us with some valuable insight into preparing for our future. Overall, I am so grateful for this opportunity, and working with these women and fellow female students will be one of my fondest memories that I will take with me from Hun onto college and the rest of my life.”
The dinner was hosted by Morgan Cawley ’08, manager of sponsorship services for MLB Advanced Media, the Bonacci Program, and the School’s alumni association, and took place at MLB Advanced Media in the Chelsea Market Building. The following day, the girls attended the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center featuring the Honorable Hillary Clinton, actress Scarlett Johansson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The Alumnae Event was great and eye-opening,” said Helena Hemberger ’17. “While talking to all of these successful and accomplished women, they let me know that, like me, they were also completely undecided about their futures when they were in high school and college.”
The trip to New York is part of a yearlong series that includes multiple educational leadership opportunities for the girls participating in the Bonacci Program:
Annual Kick-off Meeting – Program co-leaders Pauline McKean and Laura Bishop met with the students to kick-off girls’ leadership programming for the year in November of 2016. The meeting included team building exercises, exploratory conversations, and goal setting.
Leadership Workshop with Kyra Spence – In January, students worked with Kyra Spence, a junior at Columbia University, majoring in English Literature and Women’s Studies. Ms. Spence facilitated a program surrounding self-esteem and body image.
Leadership Workshop with Alice Paul – In February, students explored concepts of leadership, communication, and integrity through the lens of American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, Alice Paul.
Women in the World Summit and Alumnae Networking Dinner – At a dinner this April, students heard from a panel of women leaders in various professions in New York City. The panel offered advice, encouragement, and mentorship, to the students on the eve of the Women in the World Summit in New York City, April 5th-7th. The Women in the World Summit was the culminating event of the Leadership series. The event featured interviews, panel discussions, and performances by women in varied areas of business, science and technology, art, film making, humanitarian work, journalism, philanthropy, and law, from around the world.
“We have had several meetings after school, ranging from topics on body image and confidence to the history of the gender equality movement,” Natalie continued. “These workshops have not only been very engaging and informative, but they have also been amazing outlets for us to bond and converse about different gender issues in society as well as in the Hun community.”
The Hun students who attended the dinner and conference are: Najd Al Raiisi, Abby Debebe, Kennedy Debow, Natalie Davis, Emily DeGeorge, Helena Hemberger, Ryan Joseph, Nisha Khan, Katie McCarthy, Ava Petrecca, Maddie Petty, Julia Revock, Carolina Souza, April Tejuoso, and Kendall Versfeld.
The Hun alumnae who attended the event are: Alyssa Adams ’10, Morgan Cawley ’08, Sarah Dileo ’07, Monica Elvira ’95, Emily Hobson '10, Taylor Landis-Miller ’10, Maureen Leming '95, Lisa A. Marin '83, Carol Ann Michel '07, Sarah Staller '06, Kelsey Tylus Testa '05, Victoria Van Heyst '11, Janine Russo Vanisko '83.
The Bonacci Girls’ Leadership Program was established in 2013 through the generosity of family and friends in memory of Michelle Bonacci Marks ’89, whose commitment to excellence in athletics, academics and leadership, exemplified The Hun School’s highest ideals. The goal of the Bonacci Girls’ Leadership Program is to provide skills, perspectives, and experiences that both inspire and support Hun School girls and their potential as leaders.